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December 14, 2010

This weekend I spent some time dealing with the various water issues. With the drop in temperature, the roof is actively leaking, again. As the weather changes, the leaks move around, so the bucket farm needs to be adjusted accordingly. This is ‘bucket management’ and includes ‘bucket zen’. Properly placing the buckets requires gazing across the puddles and waiting for the drip, with empty buckets in hand, ready to slide one into place, sometimes scoring multiple drips in one container. It is one of the least strenuous tasks, but one that requires patience and focus. This weekend it was extremely cold, windy and snowy. Fortunately, by the time we left on Sunday, the drips were stopping as the water on the roof froze. The fact that we don’t yet have heat added to the fun. Some of the water in the buckets by the windows iced over!

Bucket farm

This same weekend, my office moved to our new location. Very exciting! It was a challenging week. Tom asked how the move was going, was it like a spaceship count down? No, I replied, it was more chaotic than that. We all were putting our stuff in boxes, but still trying to work, so we’d have to dive back into boxes, or give up and go out to buy needed supplies. It was really, I realized, familiar. It was very much like our home life. Fortunately, the move wentvery smoothly, thanks to the hard work of our office manager. We were all at our desks, up and running Monday morning. It was nice to finally have one place in my life where everything was in place. The new space looks terrific.

At about 10:30, I’m walking out of one of the conference rooms and see a group gathered around my end of the office, garbage cans all over a few desk, including mine and our office manager’s. One guy has either been oddly sweating during this serious cold or he’s had water dumped down his back.
Why are there buckets in my office?

It turns out, a 4-inch sprinkler line broke on the third floor, right above my desk. Someone left a window open over the weekend. It got down to 5 degrees Saturday night. The pipe burst, flooding the third floor and leaking all the way down to our freshly finished, painted, polished new place. Folks were dashing around, pulling out new ceiling tiles, grabing containers and catching the flood. Definitely not bucket zen. We later learned that the pipe broke and leaked for only 3 minutes, but emptied 3,900 gallons of not so clean water. Mostly, it leaked into garbage cans. A few ceiling tiles will need to be replaced, but it could have been a whole lot worse, if it happened over the weekend or when no one was in the office. If 3-minutes could cause this much chaos, imagine what 3-hours could have done.

I just could have done without these familiar images.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Brian permalink
    December 14, 2010 10:45 am

    Nice buckets at the house! If you can adhere (nails or staple gun) plastic covering they use for painting (use the thicker plastic) to the ceiling to catch all the leaks and let it sag so the water gathers in the middle. Then poke a hole at the lowest point and use a trash can to catch all the water in one place. That way you can cover the migrating leaks without moving buckets. It doesn’t have to be that strong because the water never really gets full but it just gets directed to one place. From a Zen point of view, the plastic become one with the B.A.B. !

    • Tom permalink*
      December 15, 2010 11:56 am

      Last year we thought about rigging some kind of tarp to direct the water – the problem is that the plaster is loose and can’t hold a nail. (And we always thought we’d be FIXING the roof!) Guess we better get back on that plastic sheeting idea! Thanks Brian!


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